Kenny: The other challenge obviously is that the way people consume music has changed quite a bit with the advent of digital music. Whether or not that falls in the canon is a point of dispute.Now there is some experimentation among younger musicians between jazz and hip hop.
Kenny: That gets to one of the fundamental challenges that Jazz at Lincoln Center has, which is how do they appeal to a new audience? Jazz has an aging audience and a big issue for an institution like Jazz at Lincoln Center is, how do you get young people interested? There are a lot of people arguing over what really makes for jazz music. Even if you look at an absolutely magnificent jazz musician like Miles Davis, he changed the nature of his music at one point and went electronic, did a lot of fusion kind of work.
At the time of the report both jazz and classical represented just 1.4 percent of total music consumption in the US. After one of them he was on a panel with a few faculty from the Business School at the i-lab, and the panel was about the artist as an entrepreneur. We spoke after the discussion about the topic of branding.
In real numbers, that’s 5.2 million albums sold by all jazz artists combined in 2014. He wanted to talk about how Jazz at Lincoln Center might think about its brand. We kept in touch and eventually I pitched the idea of a case study.
In business terms there was more competition and the audience changed.
Kenny: Rock and roll I guess was a disruptive force in that equation. Kenny: We’ll talk a little bit more about the challenges that the jazz industry faces.